Mosaic Brands is expecting its first half EBITDA to be ahead of market expectations, growing 22 per cent to 38 per cent on the previous corresponding period to between $40 million and $45 million.
The lift in earnings comes from a highly successful Black Friday period, which saw sales double compared to the prior year, and is inclusive of JobKeeper payments. Online sales now make up 17 per cent of total sales, and rose 31 per cent during the half.
“As stated in 2020 we are seeing profound and permanent shifts in the retail sector,” said Mosaic CEO Scott Evans.
“We have moved swiftly to embrace this by realigning our rental costs, store footprint and rapidly building our online offer.”
Mosaic owns and operates the Millers, Rockmans, Noni B, Rivers, Katies, Autograph, W.Lane, Crossroads and beme brands – all of which are likely to see stores shuttered by the end of the year, as Evans has previously indicated.
And, while the group is holding far less inventory than it did this time a year ago, the recent spike of Covid-19 cases has seemingly spooked Mosaic’s customer base, pushing December sales slightly down.
“There was a notable shift late in the trading period as our specific market segment avoided shopping centres due to renewed concerns regarding Covid-19,” Evans said.
“Despite this, overall December comparative sales proved resilient at 4 per cent down on the previous year.”